Even cut in half, The Idiot still works, provided one is willing to employ a little imagination to help fill in the gaps. The gist remains. Here, the title character (Masayuki Mori), suffering from post traumatic stress (thanks to his wartime experiences), has the thousand yard stare; Denkichi Akama (Toshiro Mifune) burns holes into his best frenemy with an equally mystified stare.
Enter Taeko Nasu (Setsuko Hara) and Ayako (Yoshiko Kuga) into a four-way staring contest. Note Toshiro Mifune on the left, a clear prototype for spaghetti Western characters in his look, well emulated by Clint Eastwood in the 1960s.
In the previous post, Charles asked about a biography of Kurosawa. There are these two books, neither of which I've read yet. But they look good.
Peter Cowie, Akira Kurosawa: Master of Cinema (Rizzoli, 2010).
Donald Richie, The Films of Akira Kurosawa: Third Edition, Expanded and Updated (University of California Press, 1999).
Today's Rune: Protection.